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The Culture

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The Culture
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Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_1'); })The Culture is a series of novels (and some short stories) by Iain M. Banks which share a common setting, the civilization known as The Culture. Consider Phlebas (1987) The Player of Games (1988, typically considered the best introduction to the series) Use of Weapons (1990) The State Of The Art (1991) A collection of short fiction, some of it set in The Culture universe. Excession (1996) Inversions (1998) Look To Windward (2000) Matter (2008) Surface Detail (2010) The Hydrogen Sonata (2012)The Culture is a star-spanning "empire" organized along socialist/libertarian/anarchist principles, achieved through post-scarcity technology. The seven or eight humanoid species that founded the Culture along with the others which joined later live without want, and without the need to work; practically anything they can ask for, they can receive. This is largely because the organic Culturniks are under the benevolent de-facto dictatorship... ahem, guidance of the A.I. Minds that control the starships and space habitats the entire Culture lives on.Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_2'); })For some, even utopia can wear thin without a sense of direction. Therefore, the Culture gleefully throws its weight behind Contact — an agency/program/conspiracy that exists to help other species and governments in the galaxy reach the Culture's standard of living without being too disruptive of their societies. And for the cases where standard diplomacy, or even open warfare, would not help, there exist... Special Circumstances, the Special Ops wing of Contact that intervenes as discreetly as possible (but as messily as needed) to make the universe a better place, at least by the Culture's standards.The novels mostly follow the interaction between the Culture and other species and societies — both less and more powerful than themselves.
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A Form You Are Comfortable With
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A Form You Are Comfortable With: Avatars provide a human-scale representation of a Mind that's easier for humans to interact with and relate to. While some of them are just robots to give a human something specific to talk to, others are more advanced and act as personality filters as well. A Mind can express multiple distinct personalities by using different avatars for different purposes, none of which even begin to do justice to the real thing.
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Does This Remind You of Anything?
 The Culture / int_14ed6ab7
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Does This Remind You of Anything? A leader in Use of Weapons is guilty of rounding up unpopular ethnic minorities and sending them away on trains, supposedly for resettlement elsewhere, but they are never seen again, a reference to Nazi Germany . Bilingual Bonus; he has the title "Ethnarch," which means leader of a race. Very much the kind of title a Hitler Expy would award himself. There's also that Commandant in Excession. He gets a Mind Rape from the Grey Area and dies horribly.
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"It" Is Dehumanizing: Averted or even Inverted in Marain, which is stated to use the same pronouns for men, women, and all manner of sapient machines regardless of gender, species, or composition. So the only pronoun used in that language is effectively "It", and this serves to humanize everyone. There's an attempt to invoke it with The Terror weapon at the end of Look To Windward, which was explicitly deprived of a name to better reflect its status as an abomination in the Culture's eyes. But It doesn't seem to have much of a problem with this.
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Title Drop
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Title Drop: Fairly common. The Player of Games is a direct translation of the Marain word "Morat", and is said many times throughout the book. The titular Excession is the Culture name for some phenomenon that's beyond even their massive capacity to understand or explain. The Hydrogen Sonata is an actual piece of music, albeit one no one has ever successfully performed. Perhaps the most blatant example, though, comes from Matter:
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Voluntary Shapeshifting
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Voluntary Shapeshifting: Bora's species, the Changers, in Consider Phlebas can change (over a period of days) to look like anyone they want.
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The Hedonist
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The Hedonist: The AhForgetIt Tendency, for citizens who think the Culture proper is too serious(!!)
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Literary Allusion Title
 The Culture / int_27690f66
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Literary Allusion Title: Both Look to Windward and Consider Phlebas are lines from T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land.
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State Sec
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State Sec: Contact and Special Circumstances nominally serves as the Culture's Foreign Office and Secret Service, respectively. However, when war comes around, Contact then serves as a military arm, while SC takes care of military intel and special operations.
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Faster-Than-Light Travel
 The Culture / int_2af7961
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Faster-Than-Light Travel: And How! The Culture literally doesn't have a ship that goes less than 500-1000 lights. Some of the faster demilitarized warships go upwards of 11 000 times the speed of light, and in Excession, a member of one of the largest ship classes hits approx. 223 000 times the speed of light!note Albeit only by packing much of its volume solid with engine.
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Gender Bender
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Gender Bender: Culture citizens can change their sex at will (over a period of months).
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Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
 The Culture / int_30d2ae29
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Since any place in the hierarchy of the "Empire of Azad" is assigned by one's success in an Azad tournament, this may be a case of Self-Fulfilling Prophecy. Though as it turns out, Azad really is a model of the player's approach to life: the Culture player's strategies mirror the Culture's basic philosophy and the Emperor's are purely imperialistic. So much so that when the Culture player actually wins, the Emperor goes Ax-Crazy and the entire empire revolts. At least partly because the Culture lied to the Culture player. It's not a nice friendly game, the result may very well determine whether the Azad Empire is taken over by the Culture or not. At least that's what the Culture told the Emperor, but, by the time the reader finds this out, the reader has long since discovered that the Culture also has no compunction whatsoever about lying, when necessary. One possible interpretation is that the Culture had no plans to come in and take over, because the Minds involved knew that simply adding that to the stress the Emperor (and the Empire) was under would cause him to snap. Another is, well, yes, they would come in, all guns blazing. The question is very definitely not settled by the time the book ends, but rendered rather moot by the Emperor going nuts and killing the gathered heads of the Empire's government. It may be a case of Fridge Brilliance on the Culture's part if they actually believed in the accuracy of Azad. If their player lost, the Empire would be a credible threat to their way of life. If he won, they just proved they don't need to bother with an invasion, because they have just proven to the Empire that the Culture is effectively superior and can out compete them into extinction if need be
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Out of the Inferno
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Out of the Inferno: In Consider Phlebas, a Culture ship actually hides itself in the upper layers of a sun.
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LongevityTreatment
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Longevity Treatment: Citizens are genetically engineered to live for centuries, longer if they feel like it.
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Every Device Is a Swiss-Army Knife
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Every Device Isa Swiss Army Knife: Fields and Effectors. There is very little that a suitably sized drone or ship cannot do with either. Effectors are capable of manipulating virtually any part of the electromagnetic spectrum on a micro and macro level. Fields are the ultimate multi-purpose tool, being capable of use as a weapon (hard-light blades), structural support, or even as surgical tools (one drone uses all these functions at once whilst performing the field equivalent of brain surgery within a few seconds).
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Hegemonic Empire
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Hegemonic Empire The Culture itself. Intentionally averted by the Zetetic Elench, one of the Culture's offshoot civilizations, who explicitly set out to be influenced rather than to influence others. They seem to be even less cohesive than the Culture as a result, since having any worlds at all would rather defeat the point.
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Backup Twin
 The Culture / int_34de376f
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Backup Twin: Mindstate backups are a routine safety measure in the Culture. Since warships are guaranteed to be revived after their destruction and war can at times be slightly confusing there have been cases of real Backup Twins meeting when it turned out the original wasn't really destroyed.
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Death Is Cheap
 The Culture / int_37fcf16
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Death Is Cheap: The Culture, as well as many other advanced societies, offer citizens the ability to backup their memories so that they can be reincarnated in a newly grown (or manufactured if they happen to be AIs) body if they get killed. Unrecorded death is quite permanent, however.
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Batman Gambit
 The Culture / int_38d02d44
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Batman Gambit / Gambit Pile Up The drone's escape in the first chapter of Excession. Much else of Excession too. Gambits are a hobby for the Minds, and therefore this trope gets a very thorough workout in most of The Culture novels.
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Kill 'Em All
 The Culture / int_398692d6
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Kill 'Em All: As mentioned above the ending of Consider Phlebas manages to kill everyone but the Mind they were looking for; Matter doesn't really fare a lot better. It's also the approach that some ROUs employ. Surprisingly enough not the philosophies of the Shoot Them Later and Killing Time. Well, when they're not faced with someone who wants to pick a fight.
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Homosexual Reproduction
 The Culture / int_39956254
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Homosexual Reproduction: A major plot point in Excession revolves around the common lovers' practice of simultaneous pregnancies: after one half of the couple gets pregnant, they both change sexes (which stalls but doesn't abort the pregnancy), the other person gets pregnant, and then the now-male one becomes female again.
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Epunymous Title
 The Culture / int_3a98aac8
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Epunymous Title / Title Drop / You Are the Translated Foreign Word: As is alluded to at the beginning of the novel, in the Culture's language, Marain, the sobriquet Morat in the name of Jernau Morat Gurgeh translates to "the player of games". Towards the end of the novel, an Azadian who knows about the Culture refers to him as Morat, "the player of games". Their middle names are effectively self-chosen official nicknames. Lampshaded when another character comments that Gurgeh should have chosen another name: "gambler."
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Fluffy the Terrible
 The Culture / int_41d5f145
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Fluffy the Terrible: Having a battleship that can destroy solar systems on a whim controlled by omnipotent AIs called (for example) Problem Child kinda qualifies. A more literal example appears in Use of Weapons, when Diziet Sma is aboard a warship that chooses as its avatar a small furry creature that asks Sma for a cuddle. In the same conversation:
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Do-Anything Robot
 The Culture / int_426181b8
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Do-Anything Robot: Drones, thanks to their forcefields.
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Xanatos Speed Chess
 The Culture / int_447d9e50
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Excession, as well as pieces of 'Look to Windward' are told as their own stand alone plot thread. The thread is linear within itself but events presented within a thread may not be relative to the book as a whole, with jumps between view points also jumping in time but without informing the reader. This creates dramatic tension by letting threads only be placed chronologically when they meet up, so you can't necessarily tell which group of characters is ahead of the game and which is reacting until the climax.
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War Is Glorious
 The Culture / int_44cdd259
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War Is Glorious: There's just too much delight in the hardware and what it can do to avoid this one, though the Culture consciously tries to avoid this — among other things, their warships are dubbed "Thug", "Torturer", "Murderer" class, where other cultures would choose the likes of "Vengeance" or "Glory".
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Utopia Justifies the Means
 The Culture / int_45fe3a2e
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Utopia Justifies the Means: Averted for the Culture itself. Crucially, the Culture's own utopian society is not in itself dependent on morally reprehensible means... or indeed any sort of resource exploitation that affects any other civilisation. A recurring point is that the Culture chooses to get involved (occasionally in underhanded ways) with other galactic civilizations - because the one thing a utopian society can't provide internally is a sense that what you're doing matters to the Universe. So they choose to get involved, via Contact, and try and spread the Culture. And this is effectively Special Circumstances' entire reason for existence: Especially in Look To Windward. Oh, sorry that your society was torn apart by a savage civil war, but our methods almost always work. It is speculated that the unidentified Involveds backing the Chelgrian plot in Look To Windward were internal elements determined to ginger up the Culture By Any Means Necessary.
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Starship Luxurious
 The Culture / int_46bcebfd
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Starship Luxurious: All mainstream Culture ships are (or can be) this, down to the shuttles. It's up to them and their inhabitants, really.
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Sealed Evil in a Can
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Sealed Evil in a Can: The Iln device from Matter.
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Leaning on the Fourth Wall
 The Culture / int_4a3e547f
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Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Xide Hyrlis in Matter, addressing people secretly monitoring him for entertainment, though given an in-story reason to do so.
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Mind over Manners
 The Culture / int_4ac77ae7
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Mind over Manners: Culture Minds, drones and ships are all quite capable of mind reading, but it is one of the society's biggest taboos. The one ship that regularly engages in mind-reading and -manipulation is disdainfully referred to as "Meatfucker" by its peers even centuries after its disappearance from the galaxy. To put this in perspective, calling the ship in question "Meatfucker" instead of its chosen name is considered such an insult that most Minds would commit suicide in shame over it.
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Downer Ending
 The Culture / int_4e3d253b
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Downer Ending: In the first novel, Consider Phlebas, every character except two dies, and one of them is said to have chosen suicide later on in life. The other lived a long happy existence, and is probably still around at the present date of the books. If you start the series with that book, beware: it's very depressing. Matter probably also qualifies.
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Beware the Mind Reader
 The Culture / int_4fc12ba1
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Beware the Mind Reader: The technological level is so high that the super-intelligent A.I. Minds are capable of reading the minds of humans, thanks to effectors that are used on on humans to basically do a mind probe that has the nasty side effect of a Mind Rape. So their general consensus is not to do it unless it's absolutely necessary. One Mind (The Grey Area) was especially... "pragmatic" in this way, to the point all of its peer minds started calling it "Meat Fucker" rather than their proper name.
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Everyone Is Bi
 The Culture / int_5067fd81
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Everyone Is Bi: Members of the Culture can change sex and sexual orientation at will. In The Player of Games the main character is considered somewhat odd because he has never been a woman or had sex with a man.
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Loads and Loads of Rules
 The Culture / int_517ae522
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Loads and Loads of Rules Azad from The Player of Games is described to the protagonist like this: Since any place in the hierarchy of the "Empire of Azad" is assigned by one's success in an Azad tournament, this may be a case of Self-Fulfilling Prophecy. Though as it turns out, Azad really is a model of the player's approach to life: the Culture player's strategies mirror the Culture's basic philosophy and the Emperor's are purely imperialistic. So much so that when the Culture player actually wins, the Emperor goes Ax-Crazy and the entire empire revolts. At least partly because the Culture lied to the Culture player. It's not a nice friendly game, the result may very well determine whether the Azad Empire is taken over by the Culture or not. At least that's what the Culture told the Emperor, but, by the time the reader finds this out, the reader has long since discovered that the Culture also has no compunction whatsoever about lying, when necessary. One possible interpretation is that the Culture had no plans to come in and take over, because the Minds involved knew that simply adding that to the stress the Emperor (and the Empire) was under would cause him to snap. Another is, well, yes, they would come in, all guns blazing. The question is very definitely not settled by the time the book ends, but rendered rather moot by the Emperor going nuts and killing the gathered heads of the Empire's government. It may be a case of Fridge Brilliance on the Culture's part if they actually believed in the accuracy of Azad. If their player lost, the Empire would be a credible threat to their way of life. If he won, they just proved they don't need to bother with an invasion, because they have just proven to the Empire that the Culture is effectively superior and can out compete them into extinction if need be
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Not Using the
 The Culture / int_525df529
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Not Using The C Word: Inversions is set in this universe, but the Culture is never named as such, narrated as it is from the perspective of a low-tech world apparently being Contacted. Special Circumstances gets a name check.
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Genius Loci
 The Culture / int_586624e5
comment
Genius Loci: Every orbital, hub or other population center is controlled by one or more Minds.
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My Girl Is Not a Slut
 The Culture / int_586db75d
comment
My Girl Is Not a Slut: On the other hand, the parts of Excession that aren't driven by the Title Drop are driven by one woman who abstains from the Culture's sexual mores after her immediate youth. One character in The Hydrogen Sonata has chosen to become neuter.
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Really 700 Years Old
 The Culture / int_5c5ac0e2
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Really 700 Years Old: The average Culture citizen lives for about 300-400 years as a perfectly healthy young adult. One can become truly immortal by choice, but most avoid doing so because it is considered tacky. The minds and drones, of course, do not age at all and may be millennia old. A biological Culture Citizen can choose to stop their ageing or suspend telomeric degeneration but full blown biological immortality (which has been medically possible for thousands of years) is seen as being rather tasteless.
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The Culture / int_5c5ac0e2
 The Culture / int_5d1eca88
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 The Culture / int_5d1eca88
comment
Awesome Mc Coolname: Culture ships love these. Some of the humans do too. The Other Wiki provides a list.
 The Culture / int_5d1eca88
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The Culture / int_5d1eca88
 The Culture / int_5f45ab38
type
Space Jews
 The Culture / int_5f45ab38
comment
Space Jews: The Scary Dogmatic Aliens of Consider Phlebas, the Idirans, actually have the term "jihad" used in the "translation" of their speech, and Banks is obviously drawing from at least some aspects of the West vs. Middle East conflict (the Idrians' fanatical religious views only came about as a result of unprovoked invasions by their enemies (eg. the Crusades leading to Islamic Fundamentalism) and the protagonists' arguments against the materialistic, interfering nature of the Culture mirror much contemporary 'anti-Western' feeling.
 The Culture / int_5f45ab38
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The Culture / int_5f45ab38
 The Culture / int_5fc516bf
type
Mechanical Lifeforms
 The Culture / int_5fc516bf
comment
Mechanical Lifeforms: A lot. The Culture's Drones and ships, the Nauptre Reliquaria from Surface Detail and HegSwarms are some of the examples.
 The Culture / int_5fc516bf
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 The Culture / int_5fc516bf
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The Culture / int_5fc516bf
 The Culture / int_60fa92ac
type
NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast
 The Culture / int_60fa92ac
comment
Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Both averted and played straight. Even the Culture warships, that are capable of levelling star systems, have snarky names like the Frank Exchange of Views or the Attitude Adjuster. However, warship class names are things like Gangster-class, Psychopath-class, and Torturer-class. Also counts as Meaningful Names, since it shows how the Culture really feels about going to war. The Falling Outside The Normal Moral Constraints is a little subtle about it A race that enjoys being called "The Affront" is not likely to be nice guys And though he's not a military threat, it's probably not a good idea to play any kind of game for high stakes against a guy whose chosen name is The Player Of Games Averted by "picket ships"note Abominator-class, secret and "militarised GSVs". These don't need intimidating names. And, once again, Meatfucker. It doesn't really require any further explanation.
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The Culture / int_60fa92ac
 The Culture / int_61b8f9e2
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Bunny-Ears Lawyer
 The Culture / int_61b8f9e2
comment
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: a lot of the Special Circumstances ships. Also a lot of the Special Circumstances agents... the more sane ones seem to oscillate between Crazy Awesome and Psycho for Hire. Pretty much every Culturnik can turn into one: the guy who's getting stoned thanks to the glands implanted into his brain, spending his days involved in orgies and his nights playing the much more involved local version of World of Warcraft might suddenly decides to build by himself ships capable of traveling at 10 light years per hour. Keep in mind that the Culture managed to become one of the most powerful and feared civilization while being laid back.
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The Culture / int_61b8f9e2
 The Culture / int_61ff365d
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Deflector Shields
 The Culture / int_61ff365d
comment
Deflector Shields: Fields.
 The Culture / int_61ff365d
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1.0
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The Culture / int_61ff365d
 The Culture / int_62011b2f
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Centrifugal Gravity
 The Culture / int_62011b2f
comment
Centrifugal Gravity: Orbitals.
 The Culture / int_62011b2f
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The Culture / int_62011b2f
 The Culture / int_62f20fd6
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A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far Far Away...
 The Culture / int_62f20fd6
comment
A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far Far Away... Earth is only mentioned in the short story The State of the Art where a Culture ship and its crew visit our planet (in 1977). Humanity is totally oblivious to their presence. The mainline novels occur in the timeframe between AD 1300 and AD 2100. note Use of Weapons very briefly implies one of the characters has been to Earth; it's Diziet Sma, whose recounts her time on Earth in The State of the Art. The epilogue of Consider Phlebas describes the Culture-Idiran War of the book's setting as part of a translation once Earth is contacted. The war's date is fixed between the 13th and 14th Century AD. The name of the Bodhisattva OAQSnote  On Active Quietudinal Service (in Surface Detail) vaguely implies Earth has made at least a very small cultural contribution by the time of that book's setting (sometime in the 27th+ century AD). And the name of the Eight Rounds Rapid implies that contribution includes Doctor Who!
 The Culture / int_62f20fd6
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The Culture / int_62f20fd6
 The Culture / int_62f9ee25
type
Nanomachines
 The Culture / int_62f9ee25
comment
Nanomachines: Multiple occurrences e.g. an assassin made of e-dust and a memoryform gun disguised as a tooth.
 The Culture / int_62f9ee25
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 The Culture / int_62f9ee25
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The Culture / int_62f9ee25
 The Culture / int_6509bb9f
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Non-Indicative Name
 The Culture / int_6509bb9f
comment
Averted by "picket ships"note Abominator-class, secret and "militarised GSVs". These don't need intimidating names.
 The Culture / int_6509bb9f
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The Culture / int_6509bb9f
 The Culture / int_66181568
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Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions
 The Culture / int_66181568
comment
While the Culture has a rather condenscending view of the religious beliefs of other civilizations, most outsiders see the Culture's view on religion (often described as some variant of "militant secularism") as frightening and cult-like.
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The Culture / int_66181568
 The Culture / int_6627695f
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Author Appeal
 The Culture / int_6627695f
comment
Author Appeal: You would be forgiven for assuming that Special Circumstances is made up entirely of sexy bisexual women and their sardonic robot partners, and who associate exclusively with roguish men who oppose The Culture's methods. Lampshaded in Matter.
 The Culture / int_6627695f
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The Culture / int_6627695f
 The Culture / int_666648a3
type
Hostile Terraforming
 The Culture / int_666648a3
comment
Hostile Terraforming: The Culture considers all terraforming hostile for this very reason. Also inefficient. Turning dead rocks into tailor-made Orbitals and Rings is much more desirable, on all points.
 The Culture / int_666648a3
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1.0
 The Culture / int_666648a3
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The Culture / int_666648a3
 The Culture / int_66cce83e
type
Colour-Coded Emotions
 The Culture / int_66cce83e
comment
Colour-Coded Emotions: Drones often display a coloured force field to indicate their feelings. Most don't match our conceptions of colour / emotions (anger being red or sadness being blue) and a few are outright bizarre (mottled silver and iridescent oil). A drone can make it's fields opaque (indicating they are deliberately hiding their emotions as a statment) or not display them at all (which is usually more utility based reasons than social).
 The Culture / int_66cce83e
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The Culture / int_66cce83e
 The Culture / int_67677940
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Giant Flyer
 The Culture / int_67677940
comment
Giant Flyer: Appear in both Look to Windward and Matter.
 The Culture / int_67677940
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1.0
 The Culture / int_67677940
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1.0
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The Culture / int_67677940
 The Culture / int_67f26dcc
type
Planet of Hats
 The Culture / int_67f26dcc
comment
The Culture's whole hat can be nicely summed up as "Space Hippies". Hippies with nukes. When outsiders are quizzed on the topic of The Culture and Warfare, the standard response is just: "Don't fuck with the Culture." A particularly apt example would be the fate of the Chelgrian conspirators in Look to Windward. If you threaten the lives of 50 billion citizens, then there are people in the Culture who will find you, will use their most potent weapons against you, will learn all your fears, and will kill you in the most anatomically and philosophically horrific way possible. Several villains (including the Azadian Emperor and Veppers) hate the Culture for being weaklings who still appear to have flourished against the odds. Both seem to ignore the fact that you don't get as powerful as the Culture without having the capability of being very, very nasty indeed. But only when necessary. To quote the protagonist of Use of Weapons:
 The Culture / int_67f26dcc
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The Culture / int_67f26dcc
 The Culture / int_6afefa62
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My Girl Is a Slut
 The Culture / int_6afefa62
comment
My Girl Is a Slut: As The Culture is a free-love society, there is no stigma attached to promiscuity in either gender. They generally go with the Ethical Slut philosophy. The heroine of Use of Weapons does receive some snark from her Robot Buddy for her sexual habits, such as having an orgy with the entire crew of a starship, but no-one looks upon her badly for this, and the male protagonist of the novel is definitely attracted to her. In fact, in one book the protagonist is called a barbarian because he doesn't sleep with men and hasn't ever done a Gender Bender. Although in Excession, the male protagonist Really Gets Around, and sort of subverts the free-love ideology, by promising a degree of monogamy to someone (who warned him multiple times what it would cost him) and then cheated on her with another woman whilst in female form and pregnant with his partner's child.... She did not take it well.
 The Culture / int_6afefa62
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The Culture / int_6afefa62
 The Culture / int_6bda9a30
type
Meaningful Name
 The Culture / int_6bda9a30
comment
The Gray Area and the Falling Outside The Normal Moral Constraints are both known for doing things that their society finds morally questionable. Because a Meaningful Name is so important to the Culture, not using someone's chosen name is a big deal, and the fact that the other ships choose to call Grey Area "Meatfucker" instead is significant.
 The Culture / int_6bda9a30
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The Culture / int_6bda9a30
 The Culture / int_6d7cd3e
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Dead Person Impersonation
 The Culture / int_6d7cd3e
comment
Dead Person Impersonation: The Changer impersonates the Captain of a group of Space Pirates in Consider Phlebas and the protagonist of Use of Weapons is a particularly despicable example of this.
 The Culture / int_6d7cd3e
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The Culture / int_6d7cd3e
 The Culture / int_6f44042b
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The Immodest Orgasm
 The Culture / int_6f44042b
comment
The Immodest Orgasm: The norm in the Culture on account of the use of body modification to increase sexual pleasure. The first time Zakalwe has sex with a Culture woman, he is really startled and afraid she's having a horrible, agonising allergic reaction to his bodily fluids.
 The Culture / int_6f44042b
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The Culture / int_6f44042b
 The Culture / int_73f79f91
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Released to Elsewhere
 The Culture / int_73f79f91
comment
A leader in Use of Weapons is guilty of rounding up unpopular ethnic minorities and sending them away on trains, supposedly for resettlement elsewhere, but they are never seen again, a reference to Nazi Germany . Bilingual Bonus; he has the title "Ethnarch," which means leader of a race. Very much the kind of title a Hitler Expy would award himself.
 The Culture / int_73f79f91
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 The Culture / int_73f79f91
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The Culture / int_73f79f91
 The Culture / int_76c30df4
type
Will Not Tell a Lie
 The Culture / int_76c30df4
comment
Will Not Tell a Lie: The Minds do not tell lies.
 The Culture / int_76c30df4
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1.0
 The Culture / int_76c30df4
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The Culture / int_76c30df4
 The Culture / int_771b9373
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We Will Have Perfect Health in the Future
 The Culture / int_771b9373
comment
We Will Have Perfect Health in the Future: People in the Culture actually exercise a great degree of control over their physiology, from common functions such as ignoring pain from injuries, to more exotic functions such as gravitational adaptation (in Player of Games, though in that case it kicked in automatically, and in Excession, where this is done willingly). In Use of Weapons, some people decide to give themselves colds out of boredom, implying that they wouldn't have them otherwise. So, yes, the Culture has cured the common cold.
 The Culture / int_771b9373
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The Culture / int_771b9373
 The Culture / int_77666408
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Combat Tentacles
 The Culture / int_77666408
comment
Combat Tentacles: Never really used as such, but it's made clear that a lot of the activity the Affront engage in would not be possible for the average Culture citizen without wearing a special contact suit or having their genes modified.
 The Culture / int_77666408
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 The Culture / int_77666408
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The Culture / int_77666408
 The Culture / int_777c0033
type
Technical Pacifist
 The Culture / int_777c0033
comment
Technical Pacifist: The message of the Culture to the universe could be summarized as "make love, not war: if you do make war you won't be making it (or anything else) for long."
 The Culture / int_777c0033
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 The Culture / int_777c0033
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The Culture / int_777c0033
 The Culture / int_78d103c3
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Exposition of Immortality
 The Culture / int_78d103c3
comment
Exposition of Immortality: A number of different entities across the Culture novels are either effectively immortal - drones and Minds certainly don't age or get ill - or very long-lived; most Cultureniks will have a lifespan approaching four centuries, potentially longer if they spend time in Storage, opt to have their consciousness uploaded, or just get the necessary genetic modifications. Most Culture warships, as an example, were created during the Idiran War which occurred roughly 600 to 1600 years before the later novels (post-Consider Phlebas) timeframes. Any ship Mind who remembers or actively participated in the Idiran War is, therefore, several hundred years old. Many drones are stated to be thousands of years old, constructed in the early days of the Culture as a society; their age reflected in their larger bodies and less advanced technologies.
 The Culture / int_78d103c3
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The Culture / int_78d103c3
 The Culture / int_7a82c3d2
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All Love Is Unrequited
 The Culture / int_7a82c3d2
comment
All Love Is Unrequited: The Culture's fluid attitude to relations makes this a somewhat rare problem. Appears a lot, however, in Inversions.
 The Culture / int_7a82c3d2
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 The Culture / int_7a82c3d2
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The Culture / int_7a82c3d2
 The Culture / int_7b3f0b81
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Tractor Beam
 The Culture / int_7b3f0b81
comment
Tractor Beam: Fields are sometimes used this way.
 The Culture / int_7b3f0b81
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The Culture / int_7b3f0b81
 The Culture / int_7ee93bc9
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Some Call Me
 The Culture / int_7ee93bc9
comment
Some Call Me "Tim": Culture citizens, both humanoid and drone are bearers of overly long names but commonly go by a shorter version. One of the closest examples to the trope is Diziet Sma, whose actual name is much longer and is nicknamed "Dizzy" by her Robot Buddy. A notable example is the Mistake Not My Current State Of Joshing Gentle Peevishness For The Awesome And Terrible Majesty Of The Towering Seas Of Ire That Are Themselves The Milquetoast Shallows Fringing My Vast Oceans Of Wrath
 The Culture / int_7ee93bc9
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 The Culture / int_7ee93bc9
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The Culture / int_7ee93bc9
 The Culture / int_8134db87
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Mechanical Evolution
 The Culture / int_8134db87
comment
Mechanical Evolution: it's been at least twelve thousand years since Minds stopped being anything resembling an AI that could be designed by a team of humans.
 The Culture / int_8134db87
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1.0
 The Culture / int_8134db87
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 The Culture
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The Culture / int_8134db87
 The Culture / int_81c8dd41
type
Deus Est Machina
 The Culture / int_81c8dd41
comment
Deus Est Machina: The Minds. For Minds, base-level reality is ridiculously boring. So they don't actually live in it. To briefly elaborate, a Mind can perform its day to day functions with a minuscule amount of its processing power. The rest of it can be used to mentally simulate 12 dimensional universes inside their own "heads". The only problem is that it can become very addictive and they stop being able to distinguish what is real and what isn't. Notably, the Culture is one of the very few galactic civilisations run (successfully) by AI's. Other examples tend to devolve into "hegemonising swarms" (self replicating robots) which are seen as a semi consistent galactic nuisance as and when they occur. Other attempts to create Culture level AI's result in what is known as a Perfect AI - an intelligence with no cultural baggage or preconceptions built in to their creation from their creators. Every single Perfect AI, without fail, has done absolutely nothing unless presented with the option of Subliming, which they do immediately and without fail if they are capable of doing so.
 The Culture / int_81c8dd41
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 The Culture / int_81c8dd41
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The Culture / int_81c8dd41
 The Culture / int_8344209e
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BFG
 The Culture / int_8344209e
comment
BFG The short story A Gift from the Culture mentions a antimatter-powered handgun capable of firing 10^8 W of plasma. The protagonists reflects that he would be able to level the entire city around him, in the end opting for just shooting down a starship. The gun is officially rated as a general purpose "peace" weapon not suitable for full battle use. Cheradinine Zakalwe, mercenary extraordinaire from Use of Weapons, packs an arsenal of more capable arms. And, amusingly enough, an arsenal of less capable, but more entertaining, arms. He seems to think that the Culture's coherent radiation energy weapons simply aren't enough fun, what with them being small, convenient, and not really bothering to waste energy on visual effects. There's a scene in which Zakalwe blows up several targets (large chunks of ice, dyed black) with a relatively primitive weapon, simply for the fun of watching it make them go boom. There's more to BFG status than merely doing a lot of damage, after all. Consider Phlebas features a subversion — a very powerful plasma gun, probably more powerful than anything the mercenaries had, small enough to be disguised as a tooth. All of the Combat Drones subvert this too... they're far more destructive than an arsenal of man-portable weapons, yet you could hold the smaller ones in a cupped palm.
 The Culture / int_8344209e
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 The Culture / int_8344209e
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The Culture / int_8344209e
 The Culture / int_83d2b3f2
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Our Humans Are Different
 The Culture / int_83d2b3f2
comment
Our Humans Are Different: "Human" is an umbrella term referring to all the species of bipedal, hairless apes (or non-primate ape analogues) that have evolved independently across the galaxy. While it's frequently glossed over and agents of the utopian Culture were able to move about on Earth with only minor modifications, detailed descriptions note that there can be enough differences in the height, proportion, skin color, and reproductive processes to qualify as Rubber-Forehead Aliens. Others have drastically altered their physical forms to the point where they're only considered human for the sake of legal and oral convenience, and some Culture expatriates have even gone on to join other species.
 The Culture / int_83d2b3f2
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The Culture / int_83d2b3f2
 The Culture / int_8409a385
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Exactly What It Says on the Tin
 The Culture / int_8409a385
comment
And though he's not a military threat, it's probably not a good idea to play any kind of game for high stakes against a guy whose chosen name is The Player Of Games
 The Culture / int_8409a385
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 The Culture / int_8409a385
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The Culture / int_8409a385
 The Culture / int_870bbf64
type
ShowDontTell
 The Culture / int_870bbf64
comment
Show, Don't Tell: Despite being told that the concept of gender is so foreign and unknown to the Culture that there is no longer a direct translation for the words his and her; no male is ever described as wearing a skirt, dress, blouse or make-up despite a significant number of females being described as doing so.
 The Culture / int_870bbf64
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 The Culture / int_870bbf64
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The Culture / int_870bbf64
 The Culture / int_87646020
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Memory Gambit
 The Culture / int_87646020
comment
Memory Gambit: The Chelgrians' scheme in Look to Windward involves one.
 The Culture / int_87646020
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1.0
 The Culture / int_87646020
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1.0
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The Culture / int_87646020
 The Culture / int_8a4988bb
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Mind Rape
 The Culture / int_8a4988bb
comment
Mind Rape: When a multimillion ton starship derided with the name Meatfucker comes after your grey cells, it ain't pretty.
 The Culture / int_8a4988bb
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1.0
 The Culture / int_8a4988bb
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The Culture / int_8a4988bb
 The Culture / int_8b6e8d7
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Anachronic Order
 The Culture / int_8b6e8d7
comment
Anachronic Order: The novels themselves don't quite occur in publication order, though it's rarely noticeable as only Look To Windward is a Sequel Episode, and only a very, very small number of characters ever make a second appearance.Chronological Note  The actual chronology (not considering flashbacks, etc) is something like Consider Phlebas, the title story of The State of the Art, The Player of Games, Excession, Matter, Use Of Weapons, Look To Windward, The Hydrogen Sonata, and Surface Detail. Inversions and the other State of the Art stories' dates are unspecified. Use of Weapons alternates between two storylines, one running normal, the other back to front. Look to Windward is about 1/4 flashbacks. It's even a plot point. Excession, as well as pieces of 'Look to Windward' are told as their own stand alone plot thread. The thread is linear within itself but events presented within a thread may not be relative to the book as a whole, with jumps between view points also jumping in time but without informing the reader. This creates dramatic tension by letting threads only be placed chronologically when they meet up, so you can't necessarily tell which group of characters is ahead of the game and which is reacting until the climax.
 The Culture / int_8b6e8d7
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The Culture / int_8b6e8d7
 The Culture / int_8d9c8569
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Deep-Immersion Gaming
 The Culture / int_8d9c8569
comment
Deep-Immersion Gaming: Some people even choose to go so deep they temporarily go full Lotus-Eater Machine and forget it's a simulation.
 The Culture / int_8d9c8569
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1.0
 The Culture / int_8d9c8569
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 The Culture
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The Culture / int_8d9c8569
 The Culture / int_8f900ccd
type
Overly Long Name
 The Culture / int_8f900ccd
comment
Overly Long Name People in the Culture have multi-part names including the star system, world and place where they were born or constructed, their family name — or a name relating to the role they were built for, their given first name and a name chosen for themselves, in the order Star-World Firstname Chosenname Familyname Placeoforigin, e.g. "Sun-Earther Iain El-Bonko Banks of South Queensferry." In general use, they use the given name and family name. Drone names apparently include some sort of "make and model", but are indistinguishable from "normal" Culture names if you don't understand the meaning. Chelgrian names can be even longer: one character observes that Culture names function as addresses, but Chelgrian names function as biographies. A Chelgrian character who is from the highest social class, has served in the military and then entered a monastery and grieves for his wife (killed in war) has all of these attributes reflected in his full name. The Mistake Not...'s full name is extremely long, so even other ships abbreviate it.
 The Culture / int_8f900ccd
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 The Culture / int_8f900ccd
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The Culture / int_8f900ccd
 The Culture / int_91e894b4
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Apocalypse How
 The Culture / int_91e894b4
comment
Apocalypse How The epilogue of Consider Phlebas gives the final tally of casualties of the Idiran-Culture-War in terms of sentient beings lost, destruction of ships, infrastructure, stars, etc. Spheres are Dyson Spheres, Orbitals are miniature (3 million kilometres wide) ring worlds and Rings are full-size ringworlds. For context, the galactic community at the time considered it to be a fairly minor war, all things considered. A large chunk of the plot of Consider Phlebas takes place on a dead world whose inhabitants caused a planet-wide multi-species extinction with biological weapons. The destruction of two of these stars is elaborated upon in Look to Windward when the light from their detonation reaches a Culture orbital over 800 years later.
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Alternative Number System
 The Culture / int_92ac1ba0
comment
Alternative Number System: although the Culture numbering system is often described as "base 9", this isn't actually the case... it refers only to the 3x3 grid on which Marain characters are formed. The actual numbering system appears to be base 8, as there are occasional references to the "standard" Culture human form (such as it is) having 8 digits rather than 10.
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 The Culture / int_92eb3e7c
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From a Single Cell
 The Culture / int_92eb3e7c
comment
From a Single Cell: To make destroying the Culture harder, every single Ship of the Culture is able to rebuild it without help from others. This is just one of their backup plans.
 The Culture / int_92eb3e7c
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Post-Scarcity Economy
 The Culture / int_95cc926d
comment
Post-Scarcity Economy: Under the benevolent guidance of the Minds the average Culture citizen has practically unlimited resources for their own amusement.
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The Culture / int_95cc926d
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Animated Armor
 The Culture / int_95dfff97
comment
Animated Armor: Contact suits contain a rudimentary (by Culture standards) artificial intelligence and are fully capable of operating without any input from the wearer, and will in fact override user input if necessary to keep their wearer alive. Even when not worn, they can be externally commanded and are fully operable.
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The Culture / int_95dfff97
 The Culture / int_97f53f5b
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Superweapon Surprise
 The Culture / int_97f53f5b
comment
Superweapon Surprise: The apparently helpless zeppelin-like Behemothaur natives of the airsphere have some big brothers, who will see that your species goes extinct if you mess with their charges.
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The Culture / int_97f53f5b
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Living Gasbag
 The Culture / int_988dc0fd
comment
Living Gasbag: The Affront, who are vaguely cephalopod-shaped beings with a massive gasbag.
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 The Culture / int_9ac6b0c1
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Sociopathic Hero
 The Culture / int_9ac6b0c1
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Sociopathic Hero: Special Circumstances employ them on a regular basis. Some exiled-Minds are also Sociopathic Heroes.
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Difficult, but Awesome
 The Culture / int_9b9397bb
comment
Difficult, but Awesome: Unlike most shape-shifters in fiction the Changers from Consider Phlebas can take days to transform and the process itself being heavily affected by things such as hunger, fatigue or injury. This combined with the facts that it requires a long period in a trance and that Changers are almost universally hated it is very possible you may find yourself unable to transform back again without severe personal risk. Despite all these problems however Bora Horza Gobuchul is living proof of just what someone could accomplish if they were skilled enough to get around them.
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 The Culture / int_9c45b5a2
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What Measure Is a Non-Human?
 The Culture / int_9c45b5a2
comment
What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Played with. The Culture has sentient drones, space ships, space suits, guns. All are considered citizens, in their own way. To the extent that even a nanoscale tattoo / personal protection device has a name and is a citizen. Excession gives a brief elaboration; namely that if a device's functioning is above a certain sapience threshold of AI sophistication it's a Culture citizen. If you're capable of having an opinion, you're part of the Culture, with all the freedoms that implies. Ships have the right to deny passage or service to anyone for any reason, drones have full partnership and say in any missions that they undergo with humans. The Terror weapon at the end of Look To Windward was explicitly deprived of a name to better reflect its status as an abomination in the Culture's eyes. It doesn't seem to mind.
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The Culture / int_9c45b5a2
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Hand Cannon
 The Culture / int_9cde2df1
comment
Hand Cannon: Some characters in The Culture have these.
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The Culture / int_9cde2df1
 The Culture / int_9d29321a
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Can't Argue with Elves
 The Culture / int_9d29321a
comment
Can't Argue with Elves: Surprisingly averted. Despite the Culture being the perfect civilization (at least from their own point of view; dissenters are wrong of course), no member who ever gets caught up in a debate can ever fully defend its ideals. Then again, this would be considered a positive aspect by The Culture, which looks down upon blind nationalism and ideological inflexibility.
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Fan Boy
 The Culture / int_9d72c7fe
comment
Fanboy: The GFCF in Surface Detail. They are a less advanced species who have seen the power of the Culture and try to imitate it as much as possible whilst singing the Culture's praises publicly. However, everything they do is slightly off. They don't believe in granting AIs sentience rights, are perfectly happy with the idea of multiple mind state clones existing at the same time (something that does happen in the Culture, but try to avoid it as much as possible), and flat out get the whole ship naming idea wrong. Normally, the Culture likes civilisations following its example. Normally...
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 The Culture / int_a05b534d
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Robots Think Faster
 The Culture / int_a05b534d
comment
Robots Think Faster: In Excession, "eighteen fifty-three milliseconds" is long enough for a Drone to do a full systems check, scan the surroundings, review its logs and have an extended monologue. The Minds take this Up To Twelve, though, with the Killing Time carrying out an extended engagement in just eleven microseconds. Lampshaded in The Hydrogen Sonata. The protagonist gets questioned by a Ship's Avatar and has to remind herself that, as a Culture Mind, it has probably run highly detailed predictive models of every possible conversational gambit she could try to play. Also in The Hydrogen Sonata, the protagonist is informed of a situation being "unpromising", the avatar and android that accompany her then have a complete conversation and agree on a plan of action before she can ask "unpromising?" in fact, they do all this between her pronunciation of the "s" and "i" sounds and are able to interrupt her with the explanation before she's done with the word.
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The Culture / int_a05b534d
 The Culture / int_a3c0d670
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Evil Chancellor
 The Culture / int_a3c0d670
comment
Evil Chancellor: At the beginning of Matter, a king's chief adviser and closest friend murders him, and then immediately sets himself up as a Regent for Life.
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The Culture / int_a3c0d670
 The Culture / int_a4905771
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Double-Meaning Title
 The Culture / int_a4905771
comment
Double-Meaning Title: Most of the novels' titles end up having at least two meanings. Inversions is probably the sneakiest, since it wasn't originally announced as a Culture novel - it is, but it's an inverted Culture story, told entirely told from the point of view of the society the Culture is infiltrating. Only the reader will pick up the significance of the words "special circumstances".
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The Culture / int_a4905771
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Healing Factor
 The Culture / int_a5fb0d24
comment
Healing Factor: One of the more realistic examples in the fantasy genre. A Culture human is capable of extraordinary levels of regeneration, but only if the injury wouldn't cause instant death. So for example you could rip off all four of their limbs at once ad they would just regrow later, but shoot them in the heart or decapitate them and they really die (unless they have access to the incredibly advanced medical facilities that can even regrow an entire new body for the head).
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The Culture / int_a5fb0d24
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Data Pad
 The Culture / int_a76d6304
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Data Pad: Some Culture citizens who don't want to use Neural laces have Tablets.
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The Culture / int_a76d6304
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Obfuscating Stupidity
 The Culture / int_a7aef9ff
comment
Obfuscating Stupidity: The protagonist's sidekick-drone in The Player of Games is instructed not only to wear a significantly larger hull, but also to occasionally shoot sparks, bump into things and pretend not to understand more than the Culture's own language in order to mask its true level of sophistication. In the end it is revealed, that even its inner hull was a disguise. He was in fact the drone that manipulated the protagonist into embarking onto the mission in the first place.
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The Culture / int_a7aef9ff
 The Culture / int_aa8535da
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Defector from Paradise
 The Culture / int_aa8535da
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Defector from Paradise: It's a utopia, but its members generally avoid subliming despite having the option.The civilization also has the State Sec Special Circumstances populated by those who instead of living a life of idle comfort, help protect and spread the Culture's ethos (often by any means possible). Probably not coincidentally, one Culture Living Ship is called the Bodhisattva (see the Religion examples).
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Space Nomads
 The Culture / int_abe34805
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Space Nomads: Many people in The Culture live their lives on space craft which travel around, and consider planetary life to be a weird concept. Most live in Orbitals however.
 The Culture / int_abe34805
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The Culture / int_abe34805
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For the Evulz
 The Culture / int_adfd3165
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There's an entire species called "The Affront", who revel in cruelty and are generally as offensive to the Culture as they can be, because it amuses them.
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Deadpan Snarker
 The Culture / int_ae3d6438
comment
Deadpan Snarker: Drones in general, and Diziet Sma's escort drone Skaffen-Amtiskaw from Use Of Weapons and State Of The Art in particular. A lot of the Minds are snarky. Especially the GCUs.
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Artificial Gravity
 The Culture / int_ae69516f
comment
Artificial Gravity: Standard on ships in the series. The orbitals use Centrifugal Gravity, and the standard antigrav units in armorsuits don't work there, as a unlucky mercenary finds out in Consider Phlebas.
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The Culture / int_ae69516f
 The Culture / int_b116ac06
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Weapon of Mass Destruction
 The Culture / int_b116ac06
comment
Weapon of Mass Destruction: Anything a Culture ship might use during space combat qualifies, with gridfire and antimatter bombardment probably straying into Doomsday Device-territory. Along with some of their handheld weapons, as well. The pocket-size gun in A Gift from the Culture comes to mind. Gridfire is referred to in passing as the "weaponary of the end of the universe". Effects are not dissimilar to a potentially star-swallowing wall of antimatter travelling faster than light when used in anger; merely world-shattering if used with finesse. "The Grid" is the boundary between normal space and hyperspace. "Gridfire" is essentially using the fabric of space itself as a weapon.
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 The Culture / int_b1b5081b
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Sapient Ship
 The Culture / int_b1b5081b
comment
Sapient Ship: The Culture's ships have the ability to repair and modify themselfes and are under the control of godlike Minds.
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Scary Dogmatic Aliens
 The Culture / int_b578811d
comment
Scary Dogmatic Aliens While the Culture has a rather condenscending view of the religious beliefs of other civilizations, most outsiders see the Culture's view on religion (often described as some variant of "militant secularism") as frightening and cult-like. Played straight with the Idirans. Or is it?
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Hypocritical Humor
 The Culture / int_b707726f
comment
Hypocritical Humor: Generally not called attention to, but several books show the Culture being Not So Different than traits they criticize in their enemies. Use of Weapons has a lot of these: Skaffen-Amtiskaw considers Zakalwe Ax-Crazy (OK, he is) but Skaffen-Amtiskaw has a scene where he brutally slaughters some bandits in an incredibly Gorny way, basically having the machine-equivalent of an orgasm while he does it; Zakalawe acts really Trigger Happy when he sees a room full of Culture weaponry to the disapproval of his partners, the question of why the supposedly peaceful Culture has created so many weapons isn't answered; Zakalawe is disgusted by a decadent (non-Culture local) party where the guests deliberately gave themselves sickening looking (but painless and reversible) injuries. Earlier in the novel, Sma is on a Culture ship where out of boredom, everyone decided to get colds. What is interesting though is that the Culture accepts it's being hypocritical. It just doesn't care. It's actually the reason why the main male protagonist in Excession wants to switch to an entirely different species.
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Blood Knight
 The Culture / int_b7c53a22
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The Falling Outside The Normal Moral Constraints is a little subtle about it
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Cool Ship
 The Culture / int_bb094e0a
comment
Cool Ship: The whole range between 200km long arks in space carrying hundreds of millions of people and warships which can obliterate whole star systems, every single last of them controlled by those wacky godlike AIs. Also, most of their names are slightly on the humorous/cynical side. See for yourself.
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Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence
 The Culture / int_bd2812b5
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Minds, in turn, have the same issue with Sublimed beings.
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 The Culture / int_bef696dd
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Mind Screw
 The Culture / int_bef696dd
comment
For Minds, base-level reality is ridiculously boring. So they don't actually live in it. To briefly elaborate, a Mind can perform its day to day functions with a minuscule amount of its processing power. The rest of it can be used to mentally simulate 12 dimensional universes inside their own "heads". The only problem is that it can become very addictive and they stop being able to distinguish what is real and what isn't.
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 The Culture / int_bf7ca818
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Transhumans in Space
 The Culture / int_bf7ca818
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Transhumans in Space: The average Culture citizen is next to biologically immortal, can change sexes at will, and has a few glands that produce drugs. And the Culture is spread across at least one galaxy.
 The Culture / int_bf7ca818
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The Butcher
 The Culture / int_c70907c7
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The Butcher: in Use of Weapons, the brutally insane character is referred to as "The Chairmaker". It makes sense considering what the chair is made of.
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Shout-Out
 The Culture / int_c75df49a
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Shout-Out: One Culture ex-warship in Matter goes by the name of Eight Rounds Rapid. The Ronte ships and maneuvers strongly resemble those in the arcade games Galaxian and Galaga.
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Wowing Cthulhu
 The Culture / int_c81b2a53
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Wowing Cthulhu: Special Circumstances agent Diziet Sma, when studying mid-70s Earth in The State of the Art, considered its civilization to be primitive and barbaric until she encounters a French Holocaust memorial, and is so touched and amazed that she begins to reevaluate the entire planet.
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Two Lines, No Waiting
 The Culture / int_ca7ec334
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Two Lines, No Waiting: Apparently part of Banks' Signature Style. Use of Weapons, Excession, Inversions, Look to Windward, Matter, and Surface Detail all feature multiple alternating narrative viewpoints.
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Mental Fusion
 The Culture / int_cac6d1d2
comment
Mental Fusion: Minds are capable of this to varying degrees. An Avatar normally acts like a direct embodiment of a Mind, but only represents a tiny fraction of its attention; Avatars become independent beings when separated from the Mind for some reason, but retain its memories and have no trouble slotting right back in when reunited with it; a Mind can directly control and subsume thousands of Mind-subcores, which can split off in the same way if the ship needs to launch shuttles or weapons platforms; and for the biggest example, Culture capital assets like GSVs or Orbitals are actually controlled by more than one Mind unit, linked to provide greater stability and power.
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Hunting the Most Dangerous Game
 The Culture / int_d2566b32
comment
Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: The old King Beddun, a tertiary character in Inversions, has hunted illegal poachers.
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Loads and Loads of Characters
 The Culture / int_d2bff11f
comment
Loads and Loads of Characters: Look to Windward has eight viewpoint characters.
 The Culture / int_d2bff11f
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Benevolent Alien Invasion
 The Culture / int_d8ec79d5
comment
Benevolent Alien Invasion: The purpose of Contact. Depending on the visited culture's relative level of technology/power, the approach used varies from just being present as a good example, to covert operatives acting behind the scenes, mercenary engagements, gunboat diplomacy and (as a last resort) open warfare. Most of the Culture believe that it's always for the affected civilization's best interests however, even if they disagree. A major source of dramatic conflict in the books is the level of interference which is acceptable, and whether they even should be interfering in the first place. The Peace Faction of the Culture disagrees completely, to the point of semi-secession. The Zetetic Elench of Excession are a breakaway group of the Culture, who believe it's better to be shaped by the cultures they meet, instead of the reverse.
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Sliding Scale of Robot Intelligence
 The Culture / int_db8a9d51
comment
Sliding Scale of Robot Intelligence: Most depicted knife-missiles and drones fall into the close-to-human band of the spectrum, while Minds, as mentioned above, are depicted as something of a scale-breaker.
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They Would Cut You Up
 The Culture / int_dcd29760
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They Would Cut You Up: Diziet Sma says this to a Contact colleague who plans to stay on Earth; he is skeptical that it would actually come to this.
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A Million Is a Statistic
 The Culture / int_dd082289
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A Million Is a Statistic: The postscript on the Culture Wars as noted in Apocalypse How relates the deaths of trillions in a dry, deadpan tone. It's not even a big war by galactic history standards (or maybe it was; the description is a bit inconsistent).
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 The Culture / int_e11b003d
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Translation Convention
 The Culture / int_e11b003d
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Translation Convention Marain, the Culture's official language, doesn't distinguish between genders in the linguistic sense (everyone gets the same pronoun regardless of genetalia), but the novels still do the way we normally do. Many other concepts embodied in the language itself seem to be hard to translate, as a narrating drone in State of the Art complains about having to do just that. There are also complaints from the narrator in Player of Games about having to translate pronouns of a three-gendered species from Marain to English.
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Bizarre Alien Sexes
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comment
Bizarre Alien Sexes: The dominant race of the Empire of Azad has three sexes: One is male, the "apex" has ovaries and "a kind of reversible vagina", and the female has a womb. The only non-sexual difference between the sexes is the eugenically bred-in lowered intelligence for non-apices. Sexism here sees females as breeders and domestics, males as workhorses and disposable soldiers.
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The Handler
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comment
The Handler: Diziet Sma to Zakalwe. Also Flere-Imsaho to Gurgeh.
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Ridiculously Human Robots
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comment
Ridiculously Human Robots While the drones are not anthropomorphic in any way, they can at times be more relatable than the human characters. They are also built with an aura or field which changes color to reflect their current emotion. Avatars, on the other hand, which are constructs sometimes used by Minds to talk to and interact with humans, can be realistic enough to fool humans at close range and even cursory scans by other ships (they can also be obviously robotic if the Mind so desires). If separated from the Mind for some reason, they can essentially become superhumans in their own right. It's entirely possible for a normal human to serve as an avatar, if this amuses the ship and human in question, resulting in a Literally Human Robot. This is seen as a bit creepy for the most part.
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Gorn
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comment
Gorn: In the Empire of Azad, access to this is one of the perks of the elite, but is kept hidden from tourists. Common programs include footage of soldiers raping women in conquered territories and televised punishments consisting of rape and torture. Also, some musical instruments are made out of people's bones (music critics).
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You Cannot Grasp the True Form
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comment
You Cannot Grasp the True Form: It's literally impossible for a human mind to contain enough information to understand how a Mind works or thinks, which is why it's easier to interact with avatars. Can be averted to a very limited extent by augmenting the human. This can also cause some significant trauma for an entity like an avatar if it gets cut off from its parent Mind, because it no longer has the mental power to comprehend its own memories properly. Minds, in turn, have the same issue with Sublimed beings.
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Laser-Guided Amnesia
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comment
Laser-Guided Amnesia: Look to Windward
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Ring World Planet
 The Culture / int_ea19ed5
comment
The epilogue of Consider Phlebas gives the final tally of casualties of the Idiran-Culture-War in terms of sentient beings lost, destruction of ships, infrastructure, stars, etc. Spheres are Dyson Spheres, Orbitals are miniature (3 million kilometres wide) ring worlds and Rings are full-size ringworlds. For context, the galactic community at the time considered it to be a fairly minor war, all things considered.
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Sequel Episode
 The Culture / int_eb37fe59
comment
The novels themselves don't quite occur in publication order, though it's rarely noticeable as only Look To Windward is a Sequel Episode, and only a very, very small number of characters ever make a second appearance.Chronological Note  The actual chronology (not considering flashbacks, etc) is something like Consider Phlebas, the title story of The State of the Art, The Player of Games, Excession, Matter, Use Of Weapons, Look To Windward, The Hydrogen Sonata, and Surface Detail. Inversions and the other State of the Art stories' dates are unspecified.
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Bomb-Throwing Anarchists
 The Culture / int_ec90f86f
comment
Bomb-Throwing Anarchists: Subverted. The Culture are a self-declared anarchist utopia. Even in Contact and Special Circumstances (their diplomatic wing, and their equivalent of a military and intelligence/special forces divisions respectively, when needed), nobody has any "orders" per se: they are in no way compelled to do anything they don't want to (save through manipulation), though in practice the weight of public opinion (and the ability of Minds to think and teleconference between themselves at quantum speed) amounts to most Culture citizens operating roughly in sync most of the time. The Culture are also willing to subvert tyrannical empires by means of espionage — they prefer internal subversion and manipulation to violence, only go after regimes that commit actual atrocities, but while they're by no means Ax-Crazy, it's unwise to cross them because they can throw some really, really big bombs if backed into a corner.
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Insignificant Little Blue Planet
 The Culture / int_f01a1b71
comment
Insignificant Little Blue Planet: The appendix of Consider Phlebas says Earth is Contacted in the 22nd Century. And a short story in The State of the Art reveals that a GCU stopped by in the late 70s and looked us over, deciding to leave us alone for a bit.
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The Culture / int_f01a1b71
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Oddball in the Series
 The Culture / int_f068cba
comment
Oddball in the Series: Inversions Happens entirely in a single planet resembling medieval Europe, The culture is never explicitly mentioned and only noticeable if you're already familiar with it.
 The Culture / int_f068cba
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Drugs Are Good
 The Culture / int_f0f69743
comment
Drugs Are Good: All narcotics and recreational drugs available to the entire population (many of them have genetically engineered glands that produce them on demand). Since, you can sober up instantly if you have to (also using the glands) and all medical problems are pretty much instantly curable too, they are just another fun way to pass the day.
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The Culture / int_f0f69743
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War Is Hell
 The Culture / int_f1d6144a
comment
War Is Hell: With Banks you get to smell the corpses and sift through the ashes. In Surface Detail it's more "Hell is War", since it involves virtual hells where war is the only form of social interaction that the victims are capable of experiencing.
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Human Aliens
 The Culture / int_f4aeb714
comment
Human Aliens: "Human" is an umbrella term referring to all the species of bipedal, hairless ape that have evolved independently on worlds across the galaxy. There are some differences in skin color and proportions, but they're all still pretty much the same shape.
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Planet Spaceship
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comment
Planet Spaceship: The General Systems Vehicles. No more than a few hundred kilometres from end to end, mind you.
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 The Culture / int_f9f2c33
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RunningGag
 The Culture / int_f9f2c33
comment
Running Gag: Due to ship naming conventions in the Culture (or more precisely the lack thereof) it is said that an unnamed civilization once criticized the Culture's ships for having names lacking in gravitas appropriate to their immense power. The Minds appear to have decided to have a bit of fun with this, some of them naming ships things like "Stood Far Back When the Gravitas Was Handed Out", "Gravitas... Gravitas... No, Don't Help Me, I'll Get It in a Moment...", "Low Gravitas Warning Signal", "Experiencing a Significant Gravitas Shortfall" and "Gravitas Free Zone".
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Brain Uploading
 The Culture / int_fc52510
comment
Brain Uploading: Common in the Culture: long-term storage, leisure or simply the desire to have a safe backup are all motivations for Brain Uploading. The Chelgrians from Look to Windward carry devices that store their state of mind during death so they can be sent on to the artificial heaven crafted by their Sublimed ancestors.
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The Culture / int_fc52510
 The Culture / int_fccd06b6
type
Beware the Nice Ones
 The Culture / int_fccd06b6
comment
Beware the Nice Ones: The Culture's whole hat can be nicely summed up as "Space Hippies". Hippies with nukes. When outsiders are quizzed on the topic of The Culture and Warfare, the standard response is just: "Don't fuck with the Culture." A particularly apt example would be the fate of the Chelgrian conspirators in Look to Windward. If you threaten the lives of 50 billion citizens, then there are people in the Culture who will find you, will use their most potent weapons against you, will learn all your fears, and will kill you in the most anatomically and philosophically horrific way possible. Several villains (including the Azadian Emperor and Veppers) hate the Culture for being weaklings who still appear to have flourished against the odds. Both seem to ignore the fact that you don't get as powerful as the Culture without having the capability of being very, very nasty indeed. But only when necessary. To quote the protagonist of Use of Weapons: Reinforced in The Hydrogen Sonata. The Mistake Not..., a powerful Culture Ship, manages to talk down a rival warship (from an avowedly martial civilisation) from attacking it by saying that the peaceful Culture have had to gradually become more martially capable from their very inception, in comparison to other races that typically start off less peaceful and gradually learn to tone down. Not to mention what the Mistake Not...'s full name is.note Mistake Not My Current State Of Joshing Gentle Peevishness For The Awesome And Terrible Majesty Of The Towering Seas Of Ire That Are Themselves The Milquetoast Shallows Fringing My Vast Oceans Of Wrath
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The Culture / int_fccd06b6
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Brick Joke
 The Culture / int_fe0330fb
comment
Brick Joke: Banks uses this a lot; not only for comedy, but also to forcibly ram home a real sense of scale to the reader. In Consider Phlebas, we are introduced to megaships: cruise ships that weigh over a billion tonnes, are several hours' walk from end to end, sail round orbital ringseas because they aren't designed to stop and take several years to reach maximum speed. Over a hundred pages later, the protagonist is onboard a General Systems Vehicle, and enters one of its General bays — at the edge of vision, in one of the far corners, a megaship is being packed away for transit... Also, he mentions a ship called But Who's Counting in Look to Windward. The answer to the question comes a few books afterwards, in the name of the Me, I'm Counting, which is one of the Culture ships in Surface Detail.
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 The Culture / int_fe8b6493
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Gambit Index
 The Culture / int_fe8b6493
comment
Gambits are a hobby for the Minds, and therefore this trope gets a very thorough workout in most of The Culture novels.
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The Culture / int_fe8b6493
 The Culture / int_fea715c1
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Feudal Future
 The Culture / int_fea715c1
comment
Feudal Future: Not quite the future, but within the science fiction universe of the series, there are a number of non-Culture humanoid societies who could have stepped out of Medieval European Fantasy. Notably, Matter and Inversions use this type of setting to a great degree. This is because those particular civilisations quite literally haven't matured past their equivalent of Feudalism. The spacefaring races in the series are quite notably non-feudal, with the possible exception of Azad.
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 The Culture / int_ff481077
type
Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale
 The Culture / int_ff481077
comment
Scifi Writers Have No Sense Of Scale: Pretty thoroughly averted. The numbers and ships get big. The war in Consider Phlebas ends with more than 850 billion people dead, and it's a small conflict.
 The Culture / int_ff481077
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The Culture / int_ff481077
 The Culture / int_ff555c8f
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Cross-Referenced Titles
 The Culture / int_ff555c8f
comment
Cross-Referenced Titles: Consider Phlebas and its sequel Look to Windward both take their titles from the same sentence in T. S. Eliot's The Wasteland.
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The Culture / int_ff555c8f
 The Culture / int_fff371b4
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Death Seeker
 The Culture / int_fff371b4
comment
Death Seeker: Major Quilan in Look to Windward and also the Masaq' Orbital Hub Mind.
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The Culture

The following is a list of statements referring to the current page from other pages.

 Crossover / Fan Fic
seeAlso
The Culture
 RuskbytesCultureShock
seeAlso
The Culture
 TheUniversiad
seeAlso
The Culture
 The Culture
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A Million Is a Statistic / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
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Absurdly High-Stakes Game / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
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Acquired Poison Immunity / int_ec9965ca
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Adaptive Armor / int_ec9965ca
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Alternative Number System / int_ec9965ca
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Ambiguous Situation / int_ec9965ca
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Animated Armor / int_ec9965ca
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Antimatter / int_ec9965ca
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Appropriated Appellation / int_ec9965ca
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Artificial Afterlife / int_ec9965ca
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Artificial Intelligence / int_ec9965ca
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Artificial Meat / int_ec9965ca
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Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence / int_ec9965ca
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Asexuality / int_ec9965ca
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Attack Drone / int_ec9965ca
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Awakening the Sleeping Giant / int_ec9965ca
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Backup Twin / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
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Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
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Badass Army / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
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Beat Still, My Heart / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
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Bee Bee Gun / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
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Benevolent A.I. / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
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Benevolent Alien Invasion / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
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Beware the Mind Reader / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
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Birth/Death Juxtaposition / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Bizarre Alien Sexes / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
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/ int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Blasphemous Boast / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
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Body Backup Drive / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
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Boldly Coming / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
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Bomb-Throwing Anarchists / int_ec9965ca
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Bondage Is Bad / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
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Brain–Computer Interface / int_ec9965ca
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Bring My Brown Pants / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
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Burial in Space / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
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Call a Human a / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
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Captured by Cannibals / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Centrifugal Gravity / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Character Filibuster / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
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City of Gold / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
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Cloak & Dagger / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
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Coitus Uninterruptus / int_ec9965ca
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Colour-Coded Emotions / int_ec9965ca
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Combat Referee / int_ec9965ca
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Comedic Sociopathy / int_ec9965ca
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Conflict Killer / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
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Court Physician / int_ec9965ca
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Culture Justifies Anything / int_ec9965ca
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Data Pad / int_ec9965ca
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Dead Person Impersonation / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
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Death Is Cheap / int_ec9965ca
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Defector from Paradise / int_ec9965ca
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Delayed Narrator Introduction / int_ec9965ca
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Demon of Human Origin / int_ec9965ca
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Designer Babies / int_ec9965ca
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Disaster Scavengers / int_ec9965ca
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Distinction Without a Difference / int_ec9965ca
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Do-Anything Robot / int_ec9965ca
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Drowning Pit / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
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Drugs Are Good / int_ec9965ca
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Dug Too Deep / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
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Dystopia Is Hard / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
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Easy Sex Change / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
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Everyone Is Bi / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
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Extremely Short Timespan / int_ec9965ca
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Fantastic Honorifics / int_ec9965ca
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Fantastic Naming Convention / int_ec9965ca
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Fantastic Ship Prefix / int_ec9965ca
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Feel No Pain / int_ec9965ca
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First-Person Peripheral Narrator / int_ec9965ca
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Floating Continent / int_ec9965ca
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From a Single Cell / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
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Futureshadowing / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
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Gender Is No Object / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
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Genuine Human Hide / int_ec9965ca
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Hard Light / int_ec9965ca
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Heavyworlder / int_ec9965ca
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Hegemonic Empire / int_ec9965ca
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Hell / int_ec9965ca
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High Times Future / int_ec9965ca
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Higher Understanding Through Drugs / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Homosexual Reproduction / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Horde of Alien Locusts / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Hostile Terraforming / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Human Aliens / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Humans by Any Other Name / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Hunting / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
I Resemble That Remark! / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Immortal Procreation Clause / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
It Wasn't Easy / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
It Works Better with Bullets / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Kill and Replace / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Language Equals Thought / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Lava Surfing / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Living Gasbag / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Living Ship / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
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Longest Pregnancy Ever / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
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Loony Fan / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
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Malignant Plot Tumor / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Manic Pixie Dream Girl / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Matter Replicator / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
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Memory Gambit / int_ec9965ca
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Mile-Long Ship / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Mind over Manners / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
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Mobile Factory / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Modest Royalty / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
No Biological Sex / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
No One Else Is That Dumb / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
No Poverty / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Non-Heteronormative Society / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Nothing Left to Do but Die / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Obfuscating Insanity / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Omniscient Morality License / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Organization with Unlimited Funding / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Our Humans Are Different / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
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Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Outside-Genre Foe / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Plot Parallel / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Plummet Perspective / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Poisonous Friend / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Portal Slam / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Post-Scarcity Economy / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Precursor Worship / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Proscenium Reveal / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Razor Floss / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Red Herring / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Reflecting Laser / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Remote Body / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Retired Monster / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Ring World Planet / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Robot Buddy / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Robotic Psychopath / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Robots Think Faster / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Rock Beats Laser / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Rubber-Forehead Aliens / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Sapient Ship / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Sdrawkcab Alias / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Sdrawkcab Name / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Sealed Badass in a Can / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
See the Whites of Their Eyes / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Seen-It-All Suicide / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Sleeps with Everyone but You / int_ec9965ca
 Sliding Scale of Social Satisfaction
seeAlso
The Culture
 The Culture
hasFeature
Society of Immortals / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Some Call Me / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Something Only They Would Say / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Space Age Stasis / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Space Amish / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Space Nomads / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Space Opera / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Spot the Imposter / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Standard Sci-Fi Fleet / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Star Killing / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Starship Luxurious / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
State Sec / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Straw Character / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Straw Misogynist / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Suicide Is Painless / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Surprisingly Improved Sequel / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Technical Pacifist / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Technology Levels / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Teleportation / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
The All-Concealing / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
The Alternet / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
The Captain / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
The Federation / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
The Handler / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
The Immodest Orgasm / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
The Stinger / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
The Three Certainties in Life / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
To Serve Man / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Transhumans in Space / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Try to Fit THAT on a Business Card! / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Understatement / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Unusual User Interface / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Unwinnable Training Simulation / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Virtual Training Simulation / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Wave-Motion Gun / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
We Will Have Euthanasia in the Future / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
We Will Have Perfect Health in the Future / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Working for a Body Upgrade / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Wowing Cthulhu / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Wrong Name Outburst / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Xanatos Speed Chess / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Young Face, Old Eyes / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Longevity Treatment / int_ec9965ca
 The Culture
hasFeature
Sliding Scale of Libertarianism and Authoritarianism / int_ec9965ca